What are my rights?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What are my rights?

Me and my boyfriend have a house together. The house is contract for deed, the
deed is currently in the previous owners name until its paid off. Then it will be
in my boyfriends. What rights do i have to the house if he doesn’t work and
hasn’t paid barely anything on the house or bills, i have paid it. I have all
records of house payments, tax payments, insurance, etc. The relationship is
volatile and i want to know if i have any rights toward the home.

Asked on January 10, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you're not married and not on the deed, you have no rights to the home--make sure you get on the deed!
1) Anyone on the deed is an owner; owners have rights to the property (e.g. if there are two owners, they each have equal rights to use, occupy, etc. the home and are entitled to 50% of the equity).
2) Spouses, under matrimonial/family law, have rights to anything acquired during marraige, even if their name is not on the purchase.
But "girlfriend" is not a legal relationship; it conveys no rights. And paying for something, even a house, gives you no rights by itself, since you could be gifting the money, could be paying almost essentially as "rent" so you have some place to live, etc.--paying by itself doesn't prove ownership or establish rights. If you are not married and not on the deed, he can throw you out of the home; he could move a new girlfied in; he could rent it or part of it out and keep the rent for himself; he could sell the house and keep the proceeds; etc.
If you have money and are paying, you have leverage: use it make sure you get on the deed.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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